Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Review | The Holy Grail for Travelers

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You'll earn 2 points per dollar on dining and travel purchases, and have the chance to earn up to 80,000 bonus points.
  • Annual Fee:
    $95
  • Variable APR:
    15.99%–22.99% Variable APR
  • Intro APR:
    N/A
  • Sign-Up Bonus:
    Up to 80,000 Bonus Points
  • Recommended Credit Score:
    690 - 850
  • Rewards Rate:
    Up to 2x Points on Select Expenses

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter credit card for anyone looking to earn travel rewards. You’ll earn points for each dollar you spend, and if you spend the money on travel, you’ll increase your bonuses.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card worth it? Check out my review below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best credit cards for travelers.

Not only can you earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel and dining, but if you redeem your points for travel, you’ll earn 25% more than if you redeemed the points for cash.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is universally good for newbies, getting used to how travel reward credit cards work, as well as experts looking to expand their points earnings.

With numerous bonuses available and a mere $95 annual fee, it’s easy to see why millions use and love the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Attractive sign-up bonuses including 80,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. If you redeem the points for travel, that’s equivalent to $1,000 rather than $800 if you redeemed it for cash.
  • High earnings potential on travel and dining, which is great for users who travel or dine out often.
  • Earn referral bonus points by referring friends and family to Chase Sapphire Preferred®.
  • Receive a complimentary DashPass from DoorDash, which entitles you to free delivery from thousands of restaurants.
  • Earn 5x points on Lyft rides through 3/30/2022. This includes an additional 3 points on opt of the 2 points earned on travel purchases.

Cons:

  • You’ll pay a $95 annual fee.
  • No elite benefits for being a cardholder, such as Airport Lounge access

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Features

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 80,000 points in addition to your regular points earnings after you spend $4,000 in the first three months and a $50 grocery store credit for grocery store purchases made in the first 12 months
  • Ongoing Rewards: Earn 1 point for each $1 spent in categories except travel and dining and Lyft expenses.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Standout Benefits

Lucrative Sign-Up Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® pays cardholders an attractive signup bonus. If you use the bonus points (80,000 points) for travel, you’ll maximize the earnings as you can earn 1.25% for the rewards, so an extra $200 for 80,000 points ($1,000 versus $800 for other expenses).

Top-Notch Travel Protections

  • Trip Delay: If your flight is delayed over 12 hours, Chase Sapphire will reimburse you up to $500 per ticket and any necessary lodging fees
  • Baggage Delay: If your baggage is delayed (over 6 hours) and you must spend money on essentials, Chase Sapphire will reimburse you for the fees of up to $100 per day for up to 5 days
  • Lost Luggage Insurance: If your luggage is lost or damaged, Chase Sapphire will cover the cost up to $3,000 per person.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: If you’re severely injured or die on a plane or cruise, Chase Sapphire will pay you or your loved ones up to $500,000. If the accident or death occurs outside of traveling by plane or cruise, they’ll pay $100,000.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: If you have to cancel a trip early for any reason covered under the Chase Sapphire rules, such as illness or bad weather, they’ll reimburse you up to $10,000 for a canceled trip or trip you had to cut early.

DoorDash DashPass Subscription

The DoorDash DashPass subscription is worth $9.99 a month and entitles you to free delivery on your DoorDash purchases.

All you have to do is order at least $12 in food, and you won’t pay a delivery fee and will pay reduced service fees.

Purchase Protection (It Has You Covered)

If items you bought with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® card become damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase, Chase Sapphire will reimburse you for replacement or repair.

You don’t even have to pay for the entire purchase with your Chase card. As long as you paid for a part of it with the card or Chase Sapphire points, it may qualify.

The purchase protection policy covers you up to $500 per occurrence and up to $50,000 for your lifetime.

Extended Warranty Protection

Purchase made with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® card with a manufacturer’s 3 years or less warranty will receive an additional one-year warranty from Chase.

Like Purchase Protection, you must charge at least a part of the product on your Chase card.

Transfer Partners

If you have a rewards program with one of the following, you can transfer your Chase Sapphire Preferred® points to them to maximize your use, but we recommend only doing this if you have an immediate use for the points.

Calculate the value of the points before transferring them too, ensuring you’ll earn at least $0.01 per point or you’ll lose money transferring them.

Chase Sapphire points work with:

  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • World of Hyatt
  • And more

Refer-a-Friend Bonuses

Chase Ultimate Rewards® cardholders who refer friends once you have a card. You can earn up to 15,000 bonus points per friend referred, up to 75,000 points annually.

Rewards Potential

Increase your rewards potential by redeeming points for travel rewards or during a Pay Yourself Back promotion. Both redemptions offer 25% more in points, making your points worth $0.0125 rather than $0.01.

100,000 points, for example, would be worth $1,000 in cash or $1,250 in travel rewards or a statement credit if you make an eligible purchase within the 90-day period before you redeem the points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Pitfalls

Low Cash Back Rewards

If you redeem your points for anything but travel, you’ll earn a measly 1 point per dollar spent, which equals $0.01 per dollar in rewards.

Steep Annual Fee

Like most reward credit cards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® requires a $95 annual fee.

How Do I Redeem My Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Rewards Points?

If you redeem your points for travel (highly recommended), you must redeem them through the Chase Travel Portal.

You’ll get 1.25% per point and not have to deal with blackout dates. If there’s room on the plane or a room at the hotel, you can book it – you don’t have to worry about allotted spaces for rewards members – anything that is available in the portal is available for you to use.

If you still aren’t traveling but want to use your points, you can use them to ‘Pay Yourself Back’ or give yourself a statement credit.

If you use the statement credit for purchases made ineligible categories or at eligible retailers, you’ll earn 1.25% for each point, giving you the same value as if you used it for traveling.

If you prefer, you can also transfer your points to partner companies, combining your rewards points with other travel partners’ rewards to maximize your opportunity to save on travel.

How Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is a step up from the Preferred® card, and it shows in its $550 annual fee. The Reserve®is for serious travelers and includes 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining, but 1x points per dollar spent in other categories.

If you redeem points in the Chase Travel Portal, you’ll earn 1.5 times points, and you’ll automatically earn a $300 credit annually on travel spending.

Chase offers a 60,000 bonus if you spend $4,000 in the first three months, which is equal to $900 in travel rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is another rewards credit card with a higher annual fee of $250 per year.

The AMEX is best for people who dine out often or spend a lot at the grocery store as that’s where you’ll see a majority of your rewards.

The American Express® Gold Card earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants and supermarkets and 3 points per dollar spent on airline tickets.

All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent. AMEX offers a 60,000-bonus point offer if you spend $4,000 in the first six months.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has the same annual fee as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® of $95, and it pays 2 points per dollar on every purchase, not just travel or food.

You need to spend $20,000 in the first year to earn the 100,000 bonus points, or you can earn 50,000 points with $3,000 spent in the first 3 months.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a great partner transfer program with over 10 partner companies, and it includes a $100 credit for TSA precheck.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review: FAQs

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Worth It?

As long as you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® enough to earn more bonus points than the annual fee ($95), it’s worth it.

The bonus points, extra perks, and earning potential are great, especially if you spend a lot on traveling or dining out.

Is Chase Sapphire Preferred a Good Credit Card?

If you’ll use the credit card for travel and dining purchases, it is a good credit card. The annual fee isn’t too steep, and the rewards are good for people who travel or dine out often.

If you have rewards programs with one of the partner programs, it can be a great way to double up and make the most out of your rewards.

What Credit Score Do You Need for Chase Sapphire Preferred?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card requires ‘excellent’ credit, which usually means a score over 700, but you may get approved with a credit score of 650 or higher.

Do Rewards on Chase Sapphire Preferred Expire?

Your points won’t expire as long as your credit card is active. If you have the credit card, you should use it to make the annual fee worth it, so in short, the points don’t expire unless you stop using the card.

How Much Are Points Worth on Chase Sapphire Preferred?

If you redeem your points for anything but travel, your points are worth $0.01 per dollar. But, if you redeem your points for travel, they are worth $0.125 per dollar. This is the equivalent of $1,000 for 100,000 points or $1,250 respectively.

Is It Hard to Get Approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Chase doesn’t make it impossible to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, but they do want ‘good’ credit, usually over 700, and you can’t have applied for 5 Chase credit cards in the last 24 months to qualify.

Bottom Line: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review

If you don’t have a travel rewards card yet, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great place to start. At only $95 per year and with plenty of reward opportunities, you’ll make your money back and earn some hefty rewards just for using your credit card.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.